if leemg defense spending cuts go through. >> the impact will be immediate and significant right here in virginia. 136,000 jobs will be lost in virginia as a result of this move. >> reporter: with less than 40 days to go, both men are speaking directly to voters. the president's team releasing this new ad that feels like a campaign closing argument. >> with you if i can sit down with you, in your living room or around the kitchen table, here's what i'd say. >> reporter: voters are now weighing in with more than half the country, 30 states in all, already having started to cast their ballot. and you really can't overestimate the importance of early voting this go-round. in 2008 it was nearly a third of all voters, savannah, that cast their ballots before election day. this year that number is expected to rise to as much as 40%, and today when michelle obama goes out to the university of northern iowa, she will be giving a speech, but it's not just a speech, she is also be asking the supporters there to cast their votes nearly on the spot. there's a polling place just a few steps away.